Who wants to be a city councillor? With six months until polling day, that is the question the council is asking this week. It could just as well be asking who would want to be a councillor? Councils everywhere have their critics and Canterbury’s has done much in the last four years to earn itself a great deal more. But four of those who have championed a variety, of local causes insist they have no designs on local government office. After all, It can be hard graft for little reward. There are committee meetings, press briefings, report papers, surgeries with constituents and more. And the next council will be forced to find even more ways of saving public money. It’s not going to make members popular. There is some merit to the comment from Prof Richard Norman this week, who contends there is a need for informed observers to scrutinise the council from the outside. But one could just as easily argue that those best placed to become councillors are those most concerned with the plight of the district and its people, most interested in the work of the local authority and most attuned to both the fears and aspirations of their communities. If such dedicated souls do not become our elected representatives, it is a loss for all.
Herne Bay Gazette, November 27th 2014